How to Zoom the Camera on iPhone

Apr 18, 2012 - 5 Comments

Zoom with iPhone camera

You can use a zoom-in feature on the hardware cameras included on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The zoom trick is pretty easy to master but until someone shows you how to access it, zooming is hidden from the normal camera options. We’ll detail exactly how to zoom in and zoom out with the Camera on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, running any version of iOS.

Here is how to activate and use zoom:

How to Use Camera Zoom on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Each iOS device with a camera can use a digital zoom feature, the trick is the same regardless of what version of iOS you use and regardless of iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Here’s how zooming works on iPhone cameras:

  1. Open the Camera app if you haven’t done so already, or swipe up to access the lock screen camera
  2. iOS Camera icon

  3. Use a pinch gesture on the screen to initiate the camera zoom feature
  4. Use a outward spread gesture to zoom in, or use a pinch gesture to zoom out

Use pinch and spread to zoom on iPhone camera

Once the magnification bar is present you can also slide on the bar itself to zoom in and out, but the magnification / zoom bar only appears with a pinch or spread gesture.

Remember the iPhone cameras zoom feature is currently limited to digital zoom, this basically means that a standard photo is taken and then automatically cropped around the portion you zoomed into, mimicking a real zoom feature. This is a common practice on all digital cameras and smartphones, but the resulting zoomed in images are grainier than a zoomed out picture would be. That cropping and zooming ability is a task anyone could do themselves manually in iPhoto or another basic image editing app too, and for that reason it’s often better to ignore the digital zooming ability and just take a standard photo to later edit yourself.

Note that all iPhone cameras can zoom, including iPhone 6s, iPhone 6, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, 4s, 4, etc. The same applies to iPad, iPad Mini, iPad Air, and iPod touch – if the device has a camera, it can zoom.

Zoom iPhone Camera

This works the same in all versions of iOS, but the pinch and spread features are from later releases, whereas the zoom bar is the same way it worked in prior versions of iOS.

You can use camera zoom whether camera is accessed from an app, the dedicated Camera app, lock screen camera, or any other mode that accesses the devices hardware camera.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

5 Comments

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  1. Sky says:

    Shame it doesnt work on the video camera too!!

  2. Khan says:

    Wow it’s really good. I try it and it working.Thanks…

  3. Mr J says:

    Thanks for that tip – mine works perfectly.

    Useful to have, as are the flash options and screen grid.

    Have to say I’m impressed with iP4S cam and vidcam, and have used both commercially with no problems.

  4. Shborski says:

    I can’t believe I’ve had my phone for years and never knew this, and always thought it was odd not to have the zoom feature! Just never asked. Thanks for the tip.

  5. Kathy says:

    I have an iPhone 4s & want to know if I can zoom in when videoing?

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